Who is this for?
If you are a webmaster who is about to start his/her first online business or web site, you probably know that it is not that easy to get high traffic to your site. In fact, nowadays it takes a lot more work to be successful online, than it had been some years ago. The main factor that influences your success is that most business or web site owner do not know anything (useful) about search engine optimization (SEO) and/or search engine marketing (SEM). These terms are wide-spread, however, a lot of people just know of it as a way to get ranked high in the search engines.
There are tons of webmasters and web site owners who would like to know more about SEO strategies in order to kick start their business. If you have enough funds to hire a SEO company to do the promotional work for you, you would probably not sift through the internet and find out more about SEO, unless you are eager to learn more and more. So this article is mainly for those who start out with SEO and want to know more about the strategies to not only rank high in the search engines, but also prosper and do well in satisfying visitors or prospects.
Why do I need SEO & SEM to rank high?
The question is why businesses and web sites do need to promote their web sites well these days, unlike some years ago, when everyone was about to submit to a few of the established directories and was seeing an increase in traffic through spreading the word. The answer is: A few things have changed. The search engines have developed very complex algorithms in order to find relevant web sites and separate them from the non-relevant web sites. These algorithms are quite complicated and not revealed to anybody outside of the search engines.
The problem is that, in order to reach high ranking and traffic, you need to prove your web site to be trustworthy and relevant for the world. Relevance can be reached through search engine optimization, whereas trustworthiness is reached through the marketing and promotion of your web site to other relevant and related web sites. There are theories about a so-called sandbox or trustbox that is used by Google, however, they have never been confirmed to be existing to 100%. This sandbox theory claims that every new web site is put in a box for a specified probation period. While in the box the site is not ranked well and does not receive a PageRank. The trustbox theory claims that the probation period is more likely to be defined by trusted and relevant back links.
Whether one of these theories is real or not, fact is that you need to optimize your business for the search engines and then promote it. The main thought is that you should try to gain as many one-way links as possible. One-way links, also referred to as inbound links, are link that are directed to your site without your site to be linking back to that site. In past the so-called reciprocal links have been wide-spread in order to build your linking and prove your trustworthiness and/or relevance. However, these days, one-way links are more than appreciated and worth it!
How to approach? How to gain one-way links and kick start my business now?
This is a very complex topic and it is impossible to tell you about any existing and proved strategy at once. Nevertheless there are some easy but time consuming ways to kick start your business or web site. Before everything can begin, however, you should first optimize your website. There are some resources on the internet that tell you about optimization etc.
After you are done with it, promote your web site to (free) web directories first. Web directories provide you with one-way links without the need to link back to them. Well, in fact there are a lot of directories that require reciprocal links back, but these are not the ones you should submit to. Submit to SEO friendly free web directories first, apart from the Open Directory Project/DMOZ. Then after you have done this exhausting work, write quality articles and spread them. Be active in forums. Publish a blog relating to your area and regularly write in it to attract readers and prospects. These are one of the main sources for getting your first traffic and back links, which raise your PageRank.
Now go on and find out about the variety of mistakes you can do while optimizing and promoting: Over Optimization.